The Crown Point (Indiana) Police Department reports that a man tried to gouge the eyes of one of its K-9s during a traffic stop early Sunday. Police say the man also grabbed the dog by the throat and choked him.
Crown Point PD says on Facebook that the incident began around 2:30 a.m. when Officer Joe Osiecki spotted a black 2006 Maserati speeding 86 mph in a 45 mph zone. Osiecki informed dispatch that he was going to stop the vehicle and called for backup.
“Once stopped, Officer Osiecki ordered the driver over his loudspeaker to roll down the car windows. The driver complied and rolled the windows down just enough to show his hands. After additional commands, the driver turned off his vehicle and placed the key fob on the car, but the driver refused to open the door and exit the vehicle,” the Facebook statement says.
Officers ordered the driver to get out of the car, and they warned that they would deploy a dog if he refused. The officers tried to open the car door and found it was locked. An officer then broke the passenger window with a baton and opened the door.
“Crown Point Police Cpl. Dave Wilkins then deployed K-9 Jack into the vehicle. The male driver gouged K-9 Jack’s eyes and grabbed K-9 Jack around the throat with both of his hands, leaving the canine briefly incapacitated and causing his eyes to roll to the back of his head,” police said in the Facebook statement.
Cpl. Wilkins ordered the driver to release the dog, but he reportedly continued the attack. One of the Crown Point officers then used a Taser on the driver. The driver let go of the dog, and officers pulled him out of the vehicle, police say. He was then taken into custody.
The suspect, identified by authorities as Tyler Lee Pollard, 32, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, faces multiple charges, including battery on a public safety official, resisting arrest, striking, interfering with a law enforcement animal, driving under the influence, and reckless driving. He has also been cited for speeding.
Pollard and the officers were treated for minor injuries.
K-9 Jack was examined by a veterinarian on Monday. He was cleared to return to duty and is currently “in the care of his handler,” police say.